week ending 2 July 2010
A SCOTTISH island last night won a major international green energy award for its efforts to use renewables and cut carbon emissions. The Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust won the top prize of £20,000 in the prestigious Ashden Awards after it reduced household carbon emissions on the island by almost 50 per cent
Scotsman 2nd July 2010 more >>
Guadian 2nd July 2010 more >>
Telegraph 1st July 2010 more >>
BBC 1st July 2010 more >>
Anaerobic digestion capacity in the UK is expanding rapidly, with 41 on-farm and commercial plants already in operation, 13 being built and a further 50 being planned, according to the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP).
New Energy Focus 1st July 2010 more >>
The supply arm of anaerobic digestion (AD) specialist, Farmgen, has announced it has signed up its first ‘major’ customer to receive electricity from a farm-based AD plant once it is up and running later this year.
New Energy Focus 1st July 2010 more >>
The new Government’s green agenda remains swathed in the densest fog. There have been occasional moments of clarity. The coalition programme, for example, gives a handy bullet point guide to what the government wants to do. We know that on the consumer front the Green Deal will kick off in late 2012 and offer households the opportunity to give their homes an energy efficient makeover. We know that a new green Investment Bank will provide a boost to the UK’s low carbon infrastructure. And we know that a floor price on carbon, energy market reforms and tough new rules for fossil fuel plants should all serve to accelerate the shift towards greener sources of energy. But anyone requesting further detail on these proposals and many others will get the same blunt response: “wait until October and the spending review, all will become clear then”.
Business Green 1st July 2010 more >>
Venture capital investment in clean tech firms during the first half of the year has bounced back to record levels, climbing 65 per cent year on year to more than $4bn (£2.6bn). According to new preliminary figures from analyst Cleantech Group and consultancy Deloitte, venture capital clean tech investment across North America, Europe, China and India narrowly beat the previous record of $4.02bn set in the first half of 2008, reaching $4.04bn.
Business Green 1st July 2010 more >>
David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science today announced an £8.4 million investment in Plastic Electronics. The investment will fund research and development into Plastic Electronics technology which will lead to the creation of new and next generation products, such as flexible displays, and low-carbon technologies, including ultra-efficient lighting, and low-cost long-life solar cells.
BIS Press Release 1st July 2010 more >>
Northern Irish Biomass
Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew has launched a new £3 million programme to help farmers across Northern Ireland install renewable energy generating technologies. The Biomass Processing Challenge Fund will offer capital grants worth up to approximately £330,000 ( 400,000) to encourage agricultural businesses to invest in biomass boilers, combined heat and power systems, anaerobic digestion facilities or other biomass-fuelled technologies.
Green Grants Machine 1st July 2010 more >>
British Gas Solar Plan
British Gas today unveiled an unprecedented GBP15 million investment in solar technology for the nation’s schools. The company will donate and install solar panels - worth between GBP20,000 and GBP40,000 per school - in up to 750 schools. Each school will be able to generate its own free, green electricity, cutting as much as 20% off its annual electricity bill. The energy produced by the panels is anticipated to create around GBP1.3m per year for the next 25 years. This will be reinvested in installing solar panels on yet more schools. This means that, in the next five years alone, British Gas could install free solar panels on a total of 1,100 schools.
PR Newswire 30th June 2010 more >>
Low Carbon Economy 1st July 2010 more >>
Existing homes improvement
Open days of private homes in the UK are normally reserved to listed stately properties, but this weekend the public was invited into a home of a somewhat different status. Mr and Mrs Almond’s residence in Welwyn, Hertfordshire, looks not unlike many houses up down the country, but it has in fact just become the 50th home to get ‘special’ status. The ‘Old Home SuperHome’ network is an initiative from the Sustainable Energy Academy (SEA) to showcase carbon-cutting improvements. The Almonds’ property has made it into the small network because it has achieved a reduction of 66 per cent of its domestic carbon emissions through a variety of green refurbishments, including insulation and renewable energy technologies.
Green Wise Business 30th June 2010 more >>
With research indicating that a third of house hunters would pay more for a home already fitted with a renewable energy source, Taylor Wimpey North West is proving to be ahead of the pack at its Glasdir development in Ruthin - with a range of ‘green’ homes starting from as little as £179,950.
Easier 30th June 2010 more >>
A firm set up by two ex-British Gas employees to create an alternative home boiler service is hoping to turn itself into a regional brand. Gasway, set up in 1982, reached a turnover of £3m last year focussing its business in Norfolk, especially Norwich.They are also now working in green energy, getting staff MCS (Microgeneration Certificate Scheme) certified, which means they can help customers with domestic renewable energy projects like wind turbines and solar panels.
Eastern Daily Press 30th June 2010 more >>
Britain’s fledgling solar-electricity industry is at its peak production. There is now a generous tariff paid for solar electricity exported to the grid, so putting panels up on your roof represents an excellent return on investment between 5 and 8 per cent, depending on how far north or south you live. No wonder money pages and finance websites are recommending home owners install these income-generating mini power stations. No wonder installers such as PV Solar are putting up 25 systems every week and have over a million pounds’ worth of orders.
Telegraph 30th June 2010 more >>
Daikin UK welcomes the Government’s commitment to a new Green Deal, which could help absorb the up-front costs of investing in renewable energy technologies. Plans for a new Energy bill were announced in the Queen’s Speech on 25th May, in which the Government has outlined it will create a green investment bank that would loan households money to make their homes greener. While the exact figures available to homeowners haven’t yet been confirmed, it is thought that the loans available to households could be around £6,000 to 10,000. This ‘Green Deal’ would obviously be a huge boost to householders by absorbing the upfront costs of switching to a renewable energy heating system. The plan is being seen as a ‘pay-as-you-save’ scheme, in which the loan repayments are made using money saved through lower energy bills. This can only be good for the renewables industry.
ADF Online 30th June 2010 more >>
Small Wind across the pond
Americans are shedding fossil fuels in favour of wind power and other forms of clean, renewable energy. After all, if it gets the same job done at far lower risk and with less cost over the long run, what’s not to like? Case in point: even though the housing market has not recovered from its crash, sales of small home-scaled wind turbines increased last year by almost 10,000 units.
Clean Technica 30th June 2010 more >>
Ground Source Heat Pump
Phynson Hayes in North Shropshire is a beautiful, newly built private house in neo-Georgian style and of truly ‘stately home’ proportions. To heat this modern mansion the owner called on Retherm of Stoke-on-Trent, specialists in all forms of renewable energy, to design a cost effective but ecologically sound system that would provide efficient central heating and hot water supply to all areas of the house. There were two other stipulations, first that the central heating should allow local thermostatic control [so that parts of the house temporarily out of use could be heated to a lower temperature] and second, that the contract for the supply for the whole heating system should be from one manufacturer. One look at the setting of Phynson Hayes, with the wide expanse of space round the house, was enough to decide Retherm that the heating system should utilise ground sourced energy.
ADF Online 29th June 2010 more >>
Housing association Great Places, with 1,000 Oldham homes, is in the top-performing 25 per cent in the UK following a recent Audit Commission inspection. The association has a regional office in Union Street and is well-known for its eco-homes with wind turbines at Coppice.
Oldham Chronicle 29th June 2010 more >>
Residents of Glenurquhart and Strathglass voted to buy and run a turbine on a proposed wind farm at Corrimony. Soirbheas, the company set up by volunteers to manage the project, estimates the venture would generate revenues of at least £100,000 a year to be ploughed back into schemes such as affordable housing, a community mini bus and new children’s play parks, all areas which are likely to suffer as local and central government budgets shrink. As well providing a new source of funds, ideas such as this have the added advantage of bringing people together and strengthening the communities involved.
Inverness Courier 29th June 2010 more >>
No Toast on Eigg
Residents on the Isle of Eigg have been trying to use household appliances less after a lack of rain affected its hydro power schemes. The island community has won awards for its renewable power projects, which charge batteries to provide homes with electricity.
BBC 29th June 2010 more >>
Daily Mail 1st July 2010 more >>
Two independent reports commissioned by the Wood Panel Industries Federation (WPIF) have found that the “spiralling development” of large-scale wood fired energy plants in the UK threatens around 8,700 UK jobs and risks a 1%, or six million tonne, increase in UK carbon emissions.
New Energy Focus 28th June 2010 more >>
Low Carbon Economy 29th June 2010 more >>
The Scottish government has announced new proposals designed to make it easier for communities and land owners to invest in renewable energy projects, such as wind farms or small-scale hydroelectric systems. Environment secretary Richard Lochhead announced late last week that the government is to commission a new feasibility study that will address how to help locally owned renewable energy projects overcome initial funding barriers. The report, which is being undertaken by the Scottish Agricultural College in conjunction with Community Energy Scotland, will look at plans for a new loan scheme that would provide farmers, landowners and renewable energy developers with the funding required to complete pre-planning work.
Business Green 28th June 2010 more >>
New Energy Focus 28th June 2010 more >>
Green Grants Machine 2nd July 2010 more >>
Teletubby house killed off
Gary Neville put in a lot of effort and was ready to shell out £6m on a subterranean “eco bunker”, designed – despite its resemblance to the Teletubbies house – to exist in peaceful harmony with its surroundings. Unfortunately, at least 100 of his neighbours had other ideas and lodged objections. Last Thursday, Bolton Council’s planning committee killed off the scheme.
Independent on Sunday 27th June 2010 more >>
SCOTLAND’S rural affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead announced ambitious new plans at the Royal Highland Show to provide farmers and landowners with access to finance to help get renewable energy projects off the ground.
Farmers’ Guardian 26th June 2010 more >>
Landowners are being urged to go green – and get paid for doing it. West Coast Energy is looking for “partners” in its drive to bring wind energy to every corner of the Westcountry. The Wales-based company has called on landowners across the region to offer part of their farms and small holdings for wind turbines, which will be used to provide energy for communities and the energy grid.
Western Morning News 26th June 2010 more >>
Bristol-based Triodos Bank has granted a £500,000 loan to Eavis’s Worthy Farm, home to the festival, to help pay for the installation of what will be Britain’s biggest solar roof. The bank says it is a good example of the type of green project that savers who put their cash in its climate change bonds (which pay interest of up to 3.25%) are supporting. The solar-panel system will be on the roof of the “Mootel” – the barns that are home to the farm’s herd while the festival is on. On a clear,sunny day, it is expected that the 1,100 panels will generate around 200kW (kilowatts) of power.
Guardian 26th June 2010 more >>
City of York eco-HQ
THE team behind creating York’s new council headquarters believe, the scheme will set an eco-friendly standard for the rest of the UK.
York Press 26th June 2010 more >>
Nottingham protects poor
LOW-INCOME families in Nottingham will be protected from energy price hikes as part of a green revolution in the city. Proposed waste and energy strategies for the next ten to 20 years could see solar panels go up on thousands of roofs across the city, as well as a doubling in the size of the district heating scheme. Councillors at an executive board meeting were told these “ambitious” plans could provide cheap or even free energy for some of the most hard-up residents.
Nottingham Evening Post 26th June 2010 more >>
Sheffield City Farm
A replica Iron Age roundhouse is used on the site of the Heeley City Farm, providing a glimpse into farming’s past. Its future meanwhile is represented by the South Yorkshire Energy Centre, a renewable energy site which is home to solar panels currently producing enough electricity a year to power a standard sized home.
Yorkshire Post 25th June 2010 more >>
Baxi Ecogen is the only micro-combined heat and power (Micro-CHP) appliance to achieve MCS certification. As an MCS certified product, households with a Baxi Ecogen installed are eligible to apply for the Feed-in Tariff (FIT). This means they will receive 10p for every kW of electricity they generate and a further 3p for each kW that is not used in the home but is returned to the grid. Typically, this results in a yearly payment of up to £230.
24 Dash 25th June 2010 more >>
German Power Generators offers the Micro Wood Pellet Power CHP. This cogeneration unit generates approximately 3 kW electric output to the grid and 10.5 kW thermal outputs.
Azo Clean Tech 25th June 2010 more >>
Six British startups were today awarded funding from the government as part of a £1.2m research project designed to accelerate the development of ultra energy-efficient domestic lighting technologies. Cambridge Consultants, Juice Technology, Marl International, PhotonStar LED, Tridonic Atco (UK) and Zeta Controls have each received up to £40,000 to help fund an initial technical feasibility study designed to demonstrate the viability of their product plans.
Business Green 25th June 2010 more >>
Plans to create the country’s first geothermal power station, in the heart of the Cornish countryside, could move a step closer today if councillors agree to visit the proposed development site. Renewable power company Geothermal Engineering Ltd wants to tap into the “hot rocks” technology as part of a £40 million plan for United Downs at St Day. If given the go-ahead, the project would draw on Cornwall’s mining heritage by drilling huge holes into the ground as part of the renewable energy process.
Western Morning News 24th June 2010 more >>